When did New Frontier "Jump the Shark"?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Nathan, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think New Frontier starting losing me after the trilogy Requiem, Renaissance, and Restoration. Up to that point I was tearing through the books, but this trilogy was hard to get through. I don't think I even finished it. Maybe I just skipped, but it just wasn't the same for me. I didn't care for the new characters or the changes.
     
  2. Zedferret

    Zedferret Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I loved the characters, but disliked the so-called New Frontier universe, It was more fantasy than I prefer. Don't get me wrong, I still read all the books, but the first book had a planet turning into a bird. [Jumped]shark[/jumped]

    Also too many generic antagonists, no one really stood out to me apart from those genocidal religious nutcases (I don't remember the name, I haven't read them for years).

    Good: Calhoun, Shelby, Soleta, Burgoyne, 'old' Kebron, Mueller and the Xenexian race.

    Bad: Any Thallonian, Lefler, Selar (shudder), Xy, Xyon and McHenry (open your bloody eyes you irritating godling!). Making the Excalibur-A, Exeter and Trident all Galaxy class (boring!), Making Shelby Admiral and commanding a Starbase. The rest wasn't memorable enough to remember.
     
  3. iarann

    iarann Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    For me, I really wanted to like the books because the concept sounded so awesome, but after reading the first four books (well, like mini-books really, I think it was a serial novel or something) it just seemed like standard PAD.

    Super referential to the point of distraction (constant references to the various shows as though PAD is winking at us on every other page saying "Yep, it's Star Trek!", with practically every character somehow connected to TOS or something, one guy even descended from Apollo in Who Mourns for Adonais), lots of hokey joke characters mixed in with really 90s like "X-treme" stuff (see Calhoun's backstory and character, complete with facial scar and purple eyes), and his description of Shelby didn't much resemble what I saw on television other than the blonde hair.

    I know he has a lot of fans, but I personally couldn't enjoy the work. I wonder if the books didn't so much jump the shark as the people reading them have gotten older and developed higher expecations. With the quality of Trek books having gotten so much better what once seemed top of the line became kind of average. I was able to push through the first four books because the overall plot was interesting even if I disliked the execution, but now having read things like Vanguard I don't know if I would be able to make it through something like that again.
     
  4. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    That's "practically every character"?

    Such as?

    Peter David continues to have a huge fanbase.
     
  5. iarann

    iarann Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    It was an example. I know that some of it was editorially mandated, but PAD has a habit of inserting that kind of thing into everything he writes. An example would be his novelizations of the Spider-man movies, where he was constantly using in-jokes and references to other Marvel universe stuff.

    If you want another example from New Frontier, you can refer to Lefler's mother who is "played" by Majel Barrett and is hinted to be Number One from the Cage, mistaken by Scotty to be Christine Chapel, noted to sound like the standard Starfleet computer, and there was probably a reference to Lwaxana Troi I'm just not aware of. Having the character "played" by Majel Barrett made sense, he had become good friends with her and she did have multiple roles in the series, but going to the effort to link the character to all the previous portrayals is typical PAD stuff that you see when he writes any tie-in fiction.

    Such has his description of her in the vision Calhoun has at the beginning of the first book.

    Of course he does, that's why I said "I know he has a lot of fans". My statement was just an observation that a lot of people who really love his books read many of them when they were kids/teenagers, and looking through the lens of nostalgia will often affect our perception of the quality of things. I point this out because a lot of the reasons I see people on here talking about it jumping the shark, such as how it got corny, were present at the very beginning and perhaps people just didn't notice because they were 20 years younger when they read those books. and didn't quite have the same perspective of expectations of Star Trek novels.

    You love the books, and that's great, I just personally am not a fan of PAD's writing anymore, and I was just making observations based on what others had said. Please don't take that to mean I think you shouldn't enjoy them or read them or recommend them to others, this is just my opinion and not meant to be an attack on yours.
     
  6. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    What events and characters were "editorially mandated" to PAD? (Supposedly killing off Janeway, but that was in a TNG novel.)

    And that's why certain fans are attracted to his work.

    And if he stopped doing so, people who enjoy in-jokes would complain.

    Yes, there was.

    Wouldn't a "vision" be Calhoun's idealized remembrance of Shelby?

    Certainly, in all the PAD-approved art of Shelby in the comics, she looks exactly like Shelby.

    And many of us were long into adulthood before we picked up our first piece of PAD material, or had ever heard of Peter David.
     
  7. iarann

    iarann Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    According to PAD regarding the creation of New Frontier: "The basic concept was John Ordover's, as was the notion of using several already existing characters. I fleshed out the concept and created the original characters." Source

    Maybe, but it's so over done to me that it almost gets into parody. As I said, it's just my opinion, obviously others are free to enjoy the in-jokes and constant self referencing, it would be nice though if he could be a little bit more subtle sometimes.

    It's been way too long since I read the scene, but I don't remember that being implied. Whatever, I'm not going to waste time arguing over the matter.

    That is because the artist was working from reference photos and had nothing to do with PAD.

    Right, which is why I didn't use an absolute in my statement. Of course there are adult fans (both now and back in the 90s), Imzadi couldn't have sold the numbers it did without them. I was specifically addressing comments in this thread regarding how people see the later books as corny or silly and how that element was already present in the earlier books.
     
  8. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    But the choices of Shelby, Selar and Lefler were PAD's, IIRC. He wanted to use them because he personally liked the actresses and it had to be cleared with Paramount that the canon series was not planning to re-use them.

    No, it's because PAD had been annoyed with depictions of his NF characters on the book covers and he personally worked with the comic artists and approved the art on both NF stories.
     
  9. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    Actually, the development was collaborative between Peter and John. It was pretty much equal parts both. (John and I similarly collaborated on the development of S.C.E.)


    Actually, Ian, Iarann is correct, and your own statement indicates why: Peter was concerned about the portrayals of his NF characters in the comics (Kebron, Soleta, McHenry, Kallinda, Si Cwan, etc.), so he worked closely with Mike Collins and Stephen Thompson on them. But Iarann wasn't talking about the new characters, he was talking about Shelby, and he's right: Mike and Stephen were working from photo ref for them (and also for Selar and Lefler).
     
  10. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I haven't read the first few books in a long time, but I do kind of have to wonder if this some of what you say isn't true, at least for me. When the books first started, we hadn't had anything like them before, so it was something new and unique. But by the time we started reaching the last few books, we had the DS9 Relaunch, Vanguard, Titan, and the first couple Kirsten Beyer Voy-R books. I don't about anybody else but I think I probably enjoy those overall more than I ever did NF.
     
  11. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    Once Burned & Stone & Anvil are two of the best trek books ever. Better then any of the other books you mentioned for me.
     
  12. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Good point about the antagonists. That was a weakness throughout the series. However the Reedemers and Dogs of War weren't bad, though they could've been better if they had been pumped up more. The Beings had the power, but I recall not being super impressed with them; still it was a step in the right direction. And then there were potential good bad guys like the Teuthis who got short shrift. PAD could've done more with the Tholians since there was supposed to be a war involving them occurring in his New Frontier books. I wish more had also been done with the Thallonians and the Danteri.
     
  13. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Specifically, they back Selelvia in a short and pointless war against the Federation, some time in 2377 (after Vulcan's Soul and before Homecoming, around the time of the last SCE stories). Acknowledged as pointless in-universe, I hasten to add. I have no idea what NF would have done with this had it shown the conflict, but I think it works well enough as part of the "mainstream" novel 'verse (it's mentioned in Articles of the Federation, so it did happen).

    Presumably Selelvia doesn't know when it's beaten and tries to soothe its injured pride by launching missiles and hiring Orion mercenaries, and the Tholians back them (and give them enough power to actually cause real trouble, perhaps?) because, hey, someone's kicking the Federation, this is too good to pass up.

    Tying it in to the wider novel 'verse continuity, I note that The Genesis Wave occurred in early 2377 (shortly before Vulcan's Soul). We might speculate that the Tholians were particularly angry at the UFP for having allowed the legacy of the Shedai to cause havoc, and so were feeling even more bitter towards the Federation than usual?
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  14. P0sitr0nic

    P0sitr0nic Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It jumped the shark when they felt the need to move the setting to a Galaxy class ship. I for one enjoyed the setting of the Ambassador class.
     
  15. BritishSeaPower

    BritishSeaPower Captain Captain

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    NF is a series I keep meaning to read. I had the first 6 books when they first came out and really enjoyed the first three but never was able to get much further with them. I liked what I read. However, I am also a fan of Peter David's writing and I will say that I have been put off his most recent work in comics, X-Factor. Long my favorite comic, the past year-to-two years of the book never really connected for me. And it seems linked to ideas shared here: Splitting up characters, western themes that go nowhere, etc. etc.
     
  16. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Characters can't have reunions if they're never split up. (Kirk, Spock and McCoy in TMP.)

    Huh? The western-themed novel gave Calhoun a rollicking solo adventure and an adopted son, Moke, who featured in subsequent stories. Great fun!
     
  17. Cap'n Crunch

    Cap'n Crunch Captain Captain

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    I don't think that the series ever really jumped the shark for me. The first two novels of the Excalibur trilogy was the low point for me. Unlike some of the other posters, I thought Restoration was the best of the trilogy, and was pretty good in general. I will say I didn't care for the Beings storyline. I do however agree with a lot of others that Stone and Anvil was the high point of the series, and while After the Fall and beyond were never quite as good as S&A, I still enjoyed the series right up until the "end".
     
  18. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I finally got around to reading "Treason." It's been sitting on my shelf since it was released 5 years ago, and I just never felt terribly excited to read it. After the time jump, I just didn't enjoy the series the way that I had prior.

    I have to say, though, I that really enjoyed this book. I blew through it in a day, which I never do. It usually takes me weeks to read a novel, but I just kept plowing through it this afternoon.

    My biggest complain about the more recent entries had been the split up of the crew, plus the addition of so many new characters. I liked that, for the most part, "Treason" focused mostly on the original characters from the beginning of the series: Mac, Shelby, Soleta, Selar, Lefler, and Burgoyne. AND it managed to bring them all back together again! Even though all these characters had separated and had their own journeys, and even though some of them were at odds with each other, it almost felt like coming home.

    I'm actually excited to read "Blind Man's Bluff" now!
     
  19. CaffeineAddict

    CaffeineAddict Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think Blind Man's Bluff is actually quite underrated.
     
  20. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    It's a near certainty that New Frontier is finished as a series, but there's no reason why the characters can't be used again and mixed in with existing canon characters. I wouldn't mind seeing Shelby and Calhoun again, and I absolutely love Kat Mueller's character. Why not have them pop up in upcoming novels? I don't know that any one of them needs to be featured, but there's nothing wrong with having them make a cameo appearance so fans know what's happened to them.

    --Sran